With American Pickers in season 18 -- two big questions follow the stars. What makes the show so enduringly appealing and what should would-be pickers know as they begin their journey? Fortunately, Mike Wolfe gave us both answers.
Mike Wolfe on the Timeless Appeal of American Pickers
While the concept for American Pickers is straightforward, Wolfe explains that there's more to it than you see on the surface.
“I think there’s a lot of layers to it.
He explains that viewers are enjoying a vicarious journey in every episode.
“The process, I think, holds people into it, so, digging in barns, chicken coops, attics, cellars, it’s like they’re doing it along with us.”
Of course, the technology in everyone's living room is another big part of how viewers connect with these remote locations.
“With these large TVs and everything being high-def now, people can feel like they’re on that journey.”
Mike Wolfe's American Pickers Holy Grail
After 18 years on the air, you might be surprised to find out that there's still one object that Wolfe has been unable to find, despite his best efforts. That item is a Black Hawk motorcycle that was only manufactured from 1913 to 1915.
“There’s been two engines found, but no one’s ever found the bike, so I kinda want to be that guy.”
The search continues despite the tremendous volume of 'pick' tips that have come in since the show has blown up. In terms of how the team sorts through the leads, Wolfe reminds us that the devil is in the details.
“Something that you might feel is really irrelevant .. can be the most important thing for us.”
Regardless of how the tips pan out, Wolfe is reminded every day that the community and support that they have garnered is the best find of all.
“We’re very blessed that we have a fanbase that is supportive in regards to the places that we go.”
Advice to Would-be American Pickers
Naturally, a large number of viewers want to graduate from living vicariously through Wolfe to being him on picks of their own. For that, the star has some pragmatic advice.
“Buy what you like. Buy what there’s few numbers of. Watch what other dealers are doing.”
He also notes that it is important not to overpay, and easy enough to avoid that.
“Check your phone. You can look at value so you don’t get bitten.”
In terms of entering the collectibles market, he recognizes that it can be intimidating, but finding thing that connect with you personally makes for an easy gateway into this world.